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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 5, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 5, 509-524, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-509-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Modeling the spatial dynamics of permafrost and seasonally...

The Cryosphere, 5, 509-524, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-509-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 14 Jun 2011

Research article | 14 Jun 2011

The surface energy balance of a polygonal tundra site in northern Siberia – Part 2: Winter

M. Langer, S. Westermann, S. Muster, K. Piel, and J. Boike M. Langer et al.
  • Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Telegrafenberg A43, 14473 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. In this study, we present the winter time surface energy balance at a polygonal tundra site in northern Siberia based on independent measurements of the net radiation, the sensible heat flux and the ground heat flux from two winter seasons. The latent heat flux is inferred from measurements of the atmospheric turbulence characteristics and a model approach. The long-wave radiation is found to be the dominant factor in the surface energy balance. The radiative losses are balanced to about 60 % by the ground heat flux and almost 40 % by the sensible heat fluxes, whereas the contribution of the latent heat flux is small. The main controlling factors of the surface energy budget are the snow cover, the cloudiness and the soil temperature gradient. Large spatial differences in the surface energy balance are observed between tundra soils and a small pond. The ground heat flux released at a freezing pond is by a factor of two higher compared to the freezing soil, whereas large differences in net radiation between the pond and soil are only observed at the end of the winter period. Differences in the surface energy balance between the two winter seasons are found to be related to differences in snow depth and cloud cover which strongly affect the temperature evolution and the freeze-up at the investigated pond.

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